President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday night that he is “throwing a lot of ideas out” on gun control and has not seen the document being shared with GOP congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill.
The Daily Caller reported Wednesday that Attorney General Bill Barr and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland were meeting with Republicans and handing out a document that contained a proposal for expanded background checks consistent with the Manchin-Toomey bill. (EXCLUSIVE: Here’s The Document AG Barr And The WH Are Using To Push Gun Control)
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley later told The Atlantic that the president had not signed off on the proposal and that the document was not created by the White House.
An update from the White House: Hogan Gidley tells me that just because WH legislative director Eric Ueland is among those pushing this on the Hill, it does NOT mean Trump himself has signed off on it. “Not even close.” https://t.co/BF7cGDdzqA
— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) September 18, 2019
The president confirmed during an Air Force One trip that he has not seen that document and is keeping his options open when it comes to gun control legislation.
“We’re looking at many different things. That was a news conference that was given and we’re throwing out many different ideas to Republicans and Democrats, see where they all come out. And that was the document you were talking — I haven’t seen that document,” he said. “But we’re throwing a lot of ideas out, but we’re always going to be watching extremely closely the Second Amendment.”
Trump said the document was put out by AG Barr, who is an “expert on guns and gun control,” and noted that some of the ideas being discussed “are liked and some aren’t liked.”
The background check document received a chilly reception from conservatives in Congress and the National Rifle Association (NRA), threatening the likelihood that Trump would endorse the proposal. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who sources say was one of the individuals who met with Barr and Ueland, said in a radio interview that he would vote ‘no’ on the Manchin-Toomey legislation, which closely resembles the background check document:
“I have two major problems with it. One, there is zero evidence that it would do anything to stop these mass murders, that’s not how these criminals are getting these guns, it wouldn’t have stopped the mass murders we have seen across the country. But two, the instant you mandate that every person-to-person sale have a federal review and regulation, the only way to enforce that is a national gun registry, and a gun registry is how a confiscation plan is carried out.”
On continuing efforts to pass some kind of gun control legislation, Trump said, “I think there are certain Democrats that really want to do it, and I would like to do it and Republicans would like to. We have to get something that we all agree on.”